• The store will feature all DJI's gadgets and products, including high-end and entry-level drones.

The store will feature all DJI's gadgets and products, including high-end and entry-level drones. (Photo : www.recode.net)

According to the Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association of China, the commercial sector of the unmanned air vehicle (UAV), which covers consumer drones, will continue to rise and achieve greater heights for the next 15 years.

As stated by its secretary-general Zhang Feng, the sector is expected to grow to around 50 billion yuan per year, part of which will take the consumer drone segment into account.

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Zhang remarked that China "will need more than 10,000 civilian drones once the industry is fully developed."

Globally, America's Consumer Electronics Association said that the market for consumer drones will reach 130 million before 2016. Sales are projected to be $1 billion, which is equivalent to around 400,000 model UAVs.

With this rising trend, a number of firms are making a foray into the lucrative sector, including the Shenzhen-based Dajiang Innovations Technology Co. Ltd. The leading commercial and consumer drone manufacturer, which holds 50 percent of the global market, only sells 20 percent of its products in the country.

Forbes reported that DJI sold around 400,000 drones--commercial and consumer--and posted a profit of about $120 million.

Neil Shen, founder of Sequoia Capital China, an investor in DJI, said that the firm "has the right sort of deep technology that [his company] is interested in," adding that this is the very reason why DJI "has increased its market share globally."

Industry analysts agree that one of the reasons why drones are becoming more popular is their decreasing price. Five years ago, a UAV could be bought by millions of yuan; now, a "professional standard drone" can be bought for 4,000 yuan.

"Cost has been the main driver of growth in this area. This came about through cheaper smart chip technology, which makes drones easier to handle. It's hard to crash them now," World Flight magazine chief editor Hu Qin enthused.

Another reason for the surge in demand is the burgeoning interest of many in aerial photography.

"By using a drone you can take very exciting photographs from unusual angles," Hu, who also flies a drone, shared.